Looking for something out of the ordinary to top your next pizza? Try kimchi. Funky tangy cabbage kimchi pairs deliciously with creamy fresh mozzarella and gochujang, a Korean red chili paste with sweet heat and a fermented umami richness. The sauce is definitely spicy but also has a balanced fruitiness, slight smokiness and depth of flavor from the sun-dried Korean red peppers. The resulting global flatbread is unique and quite irresistible (for the grown-ups, that is). Crispy roasted seasoned seaweed and whimsical scallion curls add the final flourishes.
Red Rice Macaroni Bibimbap
Seasoned Vegetables and Beef
Fried Egg, Gochujang Sauce
I struggled to come up with a name for this dish. Traditional Bibimbap is a super-popular Korean dish where seasoned vegetables and beef are neatly arranged over cooked rice, often topped with a fried egg and served with red chili sauce. Just before eating, the diner vigorously mixes it all together creating a wildly colorful, nutritious, and immensely flavorful meal in a bowl.
The Korean word Bibim translates to mixing. Bap translates to cooked rice. Myeon translates to noodles. Since I’ve substituted red rice macaroni for steamed white rice…should the name be bibimmacaroni? bibimmac? bibimmyeon? Ultimately I decided on the name Macaroni Bibimbap because it is made with rice-based macaroni, hoping that is not too confusing.
Made in Italy by my friends at Explore Cuisine of organic rice flour and pea protein, Red Rice Macaroni is loaded with 11 grams of protein per serving. With a chewy al dente texture, unique shape and color, it makes for a fun fusion twist on the traditional Korean recipe.
Gochugaru Vinaigrette, Korean Pickled Radish, Bird’s Eye Chili
Luxardo Cherry, Scallion, Nasturtium
Its texture is firm and smooth and the taste is mild, fluke is an excellent fish to serve raw, Italian style – with oil, acid, and salt.
An intensely flavorful vinaigrette of olive oil and toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar and mirin, is enhanced with gochugaru, a Korean red chili powder. The coarsely ground powder is definitely spicy – but also has a balanced fruitiness, slight smokiness and depth of flavor from the sun-dried red peppers.
Korean yellow pickled radish, danmuji, brings sweet, sour and crispy notes while dark Italian Luxardo cherries add a dense, chewy sweet-tart unexpected counterbalance to the fish.
Finished with whimsical scallion curls and petite peppery-green nasturtium leaves, this Korean-Italian raw fish dish has delightful visual appeal and complementary global flavors.
Made with Gluten-Free Lasagne Noodles
Creamy Spicy Cabbage Kimchi Sauce with Beef
Funky tangy kimchi makes a flavor bomb of lasagna. Kimchi’s spicy, salty, sweet, sour, bitter, umami, fermented flavors simmered into a creamy sauce with ground sirloin and gochugaru (Korean red chili powder) replaces the ubiquitous tomato sauce in this fusion-style lasagna.
My friends at Explore Cuisine make an extraordinary noodle for lasagna recipes. It is produced in Italy of green lentil flour (50%), green pea flour, and brown rice flour. These no-boil noodles soak up sauce to two-and-a-half times their size to a perfect al dente texture.
The noodles are full of plant-based pea protein, a lovely olive-green color, organic and gluten-free. They are also higher in fiber and lower in carbs than traditional lasagna noodles.
The lasagna is garnished with shilgochu (Korean chili threads), scallion, and toasted sesame seeds for a striking garnish adding texture and spice. Shilgochu are finely-sliced dried chilis that are reddish-brown in color with smoky red pepper and fruity flavors, and a medium degree of heat.
Exploding with flavor and seasoned with a secret ingredient (you’ll have to see below), this lasagna paired with makkoli (Korean rice wine) is perfect for a rainy (or snowy) winter day.
It’s not the elegant soup I would serve at a dinner party, but rather a rustic soup I absolutely crave on a winter night. This soup is kimchi guk on steroids.
Kimchi guk is a simple Korean soup where chopped napa cabbage kimchi is simmered in beef broth. Sometimes daikon, meat, or tofu are added. It is usually garnished with scallions.
This version with ground beef, buckwheat noodles, seaweed, and swordfish is much more hearty, and served as a meal. The broth is sour, spicy, savory, salty with a hint of sweetness, and really explodes with flavor.
There are a few non-traditional foods that I like to pair with napa cabbage kimchi such as cheddar cheese, mashed potatoes, and BBQ oysters. Swordfish is another, with its mildly sweet flavor and a juicy meaty texture with a good balance of fat, it just goes well with sour and spicy kimchi.
We live in Southern California, where we can walk to the docks and pick up local fresh fish arriving by the hour. Our markets are full of fresh fish that is flown in daily from around the world. So, why buy frozen fish?
Convenience of having protein in the freezer, on hand, ready to thaw.
Value where frozen is typically 20 to 25% less per pound than fresh.
Availability when fresh fish is not in season, frozen is always there.
Taste and texture are not sacrificed, especially in a recipe like this stew.
The frozen farm-raised Atlantic salmon comes from Whole Foods Market where they source from responsibly managed fish farms that aim to help maintain sustainable seafood supplies. Their salmon are raised in carefully monitored, low-density pens and tanks without antibiotics, pesticides or added growth hormones.
This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart Living. For a cold weather meal, I loved the idea of a smoky fish stew and added another layer of smoky heat with Korean chili threads (shilgochu). They are finely-sliced dried chilis that are reddish brown in color with smoky red pepper and fruity flavors, and a medium degree of heat. Along with fennel fronds, the chili threads add a savory embellishment to the final presentation.
H Mart’s seafood department is exceptional. I couldn’t pass up the beautiful striped bass sashimi and if I had more time, I would have waited for the yellowfin tuna that was about to be filleted.
Their produce department is fabulous too, showcasing the best of California fields plus esoteric fruits and vegetables found only in Asian markets. Not sure how the fuyu persimmons would be used, but several ended up in my basket just the same.
Inspiration for this vibrant ceviche comes from both my garden and my new favorite Korean supermarket. In the yard is a tree full of Persian limes while wrinkled passion fruits harvested days earlier are sitting on the counter.
The super-fresh striped bass will become ceviche, with a quick 10 minute lime marinade to preserve its pristine qualities. Paired with sweet-tart passion fruit and honeyed persimmon…a refreshing, clean, snappy recipe takes shape…